Partners in Crime, Kingdom, and Beats

from Shane's Muslim Connect

Philippians is a densely rich and bright little letter, isn’t it? I was just reading it to prep for a vlog with a pastor friend. (Want to do something fun? Click here to blow up the views on a recent Luke series we did together.) Going through Philippians, I was reminded again of Paul’s emphasis on partnership. 

Steve Hawthorne, a huge mentor for me, talks about Philippians essentially being Paul’s jail-bound emotive, missionary prayer letter to a supporting church. He says when Paul claims in 1.7 “it is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart” the Greek allows for the inverse to also be true: “you have me in your heart.” I love the idea of such partnership with the people I support and those who support me. 

Paul goes on in the verse to add, “all of you share in God’s grace with me.” So all of us get to collaborate with God and each other in the sweet blessings and expansive benefits of his inexorable kingdom. What a gift! 

I wonder what barriers can partnership cross and God still be all grace about it? How about this: Hip hop star, first generation Palestinian immigrant, and Muslim, DJ Khaled recently worked with Ye (Kanye West), Dr. Dre, and Eminem on a song called “Use This Gospel” for Khaled’s new album “God Did.” I’m clearly a hip hop outsider (although I did enjoy last year’s Super Bowl halftime show), but I am intrigued by collaboration like this among Muslims, Christians, and, possibly, atheists. 

I want to wonder and dream about how partnership beyond my usual thinking might delight God and advance his kingdom. I’m not on the short list to colab with DJ Khaled, but I wonder who I might want to have in my heart.